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1947 Bentley Mk VI "Black Adder" Special

For sale: 1947 Bentley Other

Technical specifications

Item location:
Virginia, United States
All Aluminum Roadster
Modified Crewe - Boat-Tail Speedster
B 46**
Engine size:
4.9 Litre Straight 6
Number of cylinders:
4-Speed Manual, center shift
Drive type:
Interior color:
Tan Leather, Wood Dash
Leather Seats
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


Bentley Mk VI “Black Adder” Special

Year: 1947

Coachwork: Modified Crewe Bentley Boat-tailed Speedster

“If Bentley had raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1948, ow would they have done it?”

B46 AK is one to answer that question.


This car started life as a 1947 standard steel saloon built in Crewe with coachwork by the Pressed Steel Company to Bentley’s standard design. It was the 23rd Bentley Mk VI built after World War II.

Since the 1930s, entleys have served as the starting point for an unusual genre of automobile, hich the Bentley Drivers Club recognizes as an exhibition category- the Bentley Special. In British motoring parlance, "Special" is a one-off design using components of an existing vehicle that is intended to test the limits of the original design and is often intended for competition. Over one hundred Bentley Specials have been built over the years, anging from vintage 3 liter cars fitted with supercharged 8 liter engines, o factory concepts like the Blizzard and the Java. The genre has been popular enough to inspire a book in two volumes by Michael Hay, itled Bentley Specials and Special Bentleys. These cars are popular with vintage racing enthusiasts, ill climbers, nd rally drivers.

In the 1970’s, ready supply of Mk VI and R-Type Bentleys formed the core of a new era of Specials. Foremost among these were the “Doningtons” of Johnard Vintage Car, hich built 16 Specials between 1975 and 1982. Based on the standard Mk VI Bentley, he “Donington Specials” were shortened and lowered, eing built around a 9 foot wheelbase with a standard B-Series engine, hough in at least four cases fitted with more powerful S1 4.9 Liter motors or Rolls-Royce V8 6.3 Liter motors. This car was the 4th Donington built. In 1999, Bentley Donington Special (B63 FU), riven by the team of Arnold and Nora Schulze and Jutta Breuer competed in the Peking to Paris race where it finished 4th out of 16 participants in the touring class. It was clear that the Bentley Special had come of age.

After its initial conversion, 46** led a somewhat hard life as a Special. It was raced in the UK and competed in a number of events, inning the Bentley Drivers Club’s Kensington Show Best in Class (Modified Crewe Bentley) in 1979 and 1983. By 2005, ore than 30 years on the road had taken its toll and its new owner decided it could use a full makeover. The car was completely stripped to a bare frame and a new custom aluminum boat-tailed body, n the spirit of the Bentley racing cars of the 1920’s, as fabricated by hand. At the same time, very mechanical component was refurbished, lmost entirely out of parts from the “Factory Parts Bin.”

In addition to its new aluminum body and cycle fenders, Black Adder" features a specially built Bentley 4.9 liter straight six engine with a Continental “big valve” cylinder head and twin SU carbs. This engine is mated to a high-ratio transmission from a Bentley R-Type Continental Lightweight. Cooling is handled through a custom-fabricated radiator and the 24-gallon gas tank gives the car tremendous range on the track or in time/distance events. The original Donington chassis was largely unchanged, hough special modifications were made for the steering column and a new bulkhead was fitted. In keeping with Bentley engineering practice, ll controls are run through linkages, ntirely sourced from pre-war Bentley and Rolls-Royce parts. To handle the extra power, he car has been fitted with a Dana Currie 3:1 rear end and front disc brakes.

B46** looks the part of the racer it would have been. The result is a blisteringly fast, et manageable and tractable Bentley roadster that upholds the tradition of these special cars. Completed in 2012, he project was featured in 2011 in the Bentley Drivers Club Review magazine in a two-part article titled “The Third Life of B46**.” It has appeared in Sports and Classics magazine (UK) and is listed in Michael Hay’s Bentley Specials and Special Bentley’s, olume 1.

In its present form, 46** was exhibited at and won the "British Invasion"2013 Concours d’Elegance in its class. More recently, t won Best of Show and Best in Class at the 2015 “Britain on the Green” which took place at Gunston Hall, irginia.

“Black Adder” is not only an outstanding example of an often-overlooked segment of the Bentley marque, t is a tribute to modern coach building and design. It is ready to tour, how, nd / or race.

This car is listed elsewhere and may be subject to prior sale.

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